Digestive Problems & Chocolate
Updated: Jul 26
Have you ever had digestive issues? I certainly have! In fact, I went through a three-year period of visiting specialist after specialist in several states and even one of the top clinics in the nation, only to have them say, “You have unexplainable abdominal pain.” Fortunately, after working with a Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner, Evan Bran, he discovered that my gut had parasites and mold. Why top-notch physicians around the country never did a stool and urine test to discover this, I’ll never know. But we got to the root of the problem. During that time, I spent extensive time researching digestive issues and gut health. Eating foods high in fiber and ground flaxseed is excellent for good digestive health. This blog is going to feature Flax4Life.com, which has excellent gluten-free and dairy-free products. Their products are made of ground flaxseed and include chocolate muffins, brownies, and granola, as well as other products without chocolate. I honestly think there are very few gluten-free products that taste good, but these are delicious!
Believe it or not, your gut craves chocolate, but it must be 70% dark chocolate and raw cocoa powder, which have the highest amounts of gut-healthy flavanols. Also the chocolate should have no sugar or low amounts of sugar (preferably from natural sources like honey) and no artificial sweeteners. Make sure it has fat from cocoa butter or coconut oil—stay away from soybean oil, vegetable oils, and trans fats.
Researchers from the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Reading in the U.K. found that cacao can promote friendly bacteria and reduce inflammation in the gut. Your microbiome is made up of trillions of microbes, most of which are beneficial bacteria living in your digestive tract, where they work tirelessly to (among other things) support healthy weight management and metabolism, help you absorb nutrients, support your immune system, and even keep your moods sunny. But they do need nourishment to be able to grow, reproduce, and stay in the majority so the bad guys don’t take over.
As for flaxseed, it is commonly used to improve digestive health or relieve constipation. According to a blog by Eating Well, January 2021, grinding flaxseeds will give you the most benefit. According to Dr. Margaret Voss, a physiologist who teaches nutritional biochemistry at Syracuse University, “Flaxseeds are made up of two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Flaxseed is about 95% percent fiber. Almost half of this fiber content is soluble, which means when it interacts with water, it creates a gel in our digestive system that is an extremely efficient laxative. Insoluble fiber is composed of cellulose and a compound called lignin, and travels directly to your colon. There, the gut bacteria digest a portion of the insoluble fiber and transform it into a new compound that is absorbed into our bloodstream. Gut bacteria use the lignin to produce lignans, a class of important bioactive molecules that have anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, when taken with ample hydration, insoluble fiber softens stool by adding water to it—this makes it easier to pass and addresses one of the most common causes of constipation.”
There you have it! Dark chocolate and flaxseeds are beneficial to digestive health. To order my new book, Give me Some Chocolate…I’m Stressed! go to www.DesiPayne.com/shop
Stress Less! Desi
Your Stress Less Coach